Lee Westwood believes Robert MacIntyre is learning all the time with a huge future, but he needs a little maturity in his game.
The veteran Englishman has played with the young Scot several times recently including the Players Championship in March and the Scottish Open just last weekend. It took a little time for the left-hander to do himself justice in the presence of the multiple European Tour winner.
‘I was kind of relieved’
“It was nice to see him make a few birdies at the weekend,” laughed Westwood. “I think it took him about 60 holes playing with me to make one, when he birdied the first hole last Thursday I was kind of relieved.
“No, he’s a good player, with a good future. If I’m being completely honest his game is still a little one-dimensional for me, but I think he’ll learn that as he goes along.
“I see a good short game and a good putter, which obviously is what you need. But I think he’s a little bit too flat out all the time at the moment. He’ll learn the knockdown shots you need to have, he’s just doing what all the kids do.”
‘I was exactly the same’
MacIntyre had actually said himself after playing with Westwood last week that he admired the course management of the Englishman and was trying to emulate it.
“Well, there you go, he knows it,” continued Westwood. “I was exactly the same, I grew up watching Greg Norman and loved his aggressive nature.
“I always wanted to be like that and found out the hard way that you can’t play like that all the time.”
Westwood did detect the right conversations between MacIntyre and his caddie, Lundin’s Mike Thomson.
“I think he’s got a good lad on the bag as well that will help,” he said. “It’s important to have a good caddie to pull the reins on him now and then.
“When I listen to them on the golf course they sound like a sensible pair when there’s chat going on.”
‘It’s much easier when there’s a group of you’
Westwood added that he felt the need for more Scots to come through to take the focus off MacIntyre. Again, he was in the same situation himself at one point.
“The turn of the century I was the only English player in the world’s top 100,” he recalled. “It was pretty much everything was about me when an Open came around. Now we’ve got 10 possible English winners when we turn up to the big championships.
“Bob’s the only one in the Open this week. It means in this week and last all the focus from Scotland is on him.
“It’s much easier when there’s a group of you. We’ve had a lot of English players come up and you can filter it out between all of you. It dissipates the focus a little bit.”